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Newspaper Page Text
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told little Louisa and her child friends
if the Tribune had wanted to.
Mamma D'Andrea told Louisa a
long, long story that everyone in the
19th ward knew and that no one ever
spoke of. "- -..
The tale was about a nappy little
family of three, living out on squalid
Archer road 'way back before
Louisa opened her great baby eyes
on this world.
It was one evening in the spring
and the papa of this family had just
come home. He kissed a woman who
looked just a girl and then a little
babe which proved she was not
They sat down to supper and papa
ate while mamma and the babe
watched. The mother didn't eat be
cause she was worrying about a mys
terious something she had found;
she didn't want to tell her husband
it might mean trouble.
But that day his partner in the
macaroni business had slipped into
the pantry and hid a package where
he thought it wouldn't be found.
The woman looked later and there
she uncovered a big bundle of shiny
new dimes. She fingered them and
finally bit on one it broke. They
Even while she sat thinking of it
and her husband was eating, some
one knocked heavily at the door. She
opened it and in rushed a dozen gruff
Two of them grabbed her husband
and searched him for weapons as he
.protested against the intrusion.
He was Tony D'Andrea, a teacher
of Italian in the Berlitz schools, and
partner in a thriving business. "How
could they suspect him of counter
feiting?" he asked.
As they were leading him off Mrs.
D'Andrea remembered the bad coins
in the pantry and she ran to hide
them more securely.
A detective followed her and in the
place they had been left by the part
ner they discovered the counterfeit
Both of the D'Andreas were indict
ed for passing bad coins. But then
the federal officials knew they didn't
have members of the gang they
sought and for a year and a half the
indictments were not prosecuted.
They lay dusty in an office of the fed
One day, late in 1902, sleuths for
the government arrested Andrew
Romano in Buffalo. He was accused
of making the coins that were found
in the D'Andrea home. And again
the detectives visited the Archer ave
They wanted D'Andrea to go to
Buffalo and tell what he knew about
Romano. If he refused they would
send his wife to the penitentiary
and they did.
So D'Andrea said he would go and
was given a few hours to prepare for
the journey. Even before he could
get to the train, by the strange code
of the "Little Italy" he was told to
keep his mouth shut tight Death
for his wife and baby would be the
price of his testimony.
The bewildered Italian went to Buf
falo, but when time came to tell
about Romano he refused. Romano
The federal sleuths said nothing
until D'Andrea came back with them
to Chicago. Then they arrested him
and his wife under the old indict
ments. They had no evidence against
D'Andrea, but against the wife their
case was good. She had been caught
with the coins on her person.
They told him that if he would tell
about the counterfeiting gang his
wife would be freed. If not she went
to the penitentiary.
There was another reason now
that Mrs. D'Andrea should not go be
hind the bars of a prison. Another
babe was expected in a few months,
and if she went to Joliet it would
come upon this earth in a prison celL
So D'Andrea offered to plead guilty
if they would let his wife go free.
They agreed, and after a trip to a
federal court and a three-minute jpe-